Does China fear Obama?

President Obama could present a difficult challenge for Beijing. Like all presidents since World War II, Obama seeks to continue protecting and extending America’s leadership role in the world – which Beijing believes to be to its detriment.

But unlike Bush, Beijing believes that Obama better understands the facets of American power and influence – hard power versus soft and “smart” power, coercion versus legitimacy, inducements versus persuasion, and the power of example.

Scholars at CASS have spent considerable effort trying to analyze understand the advantage the United States gains whenever it produces charismatic leaders such as John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan – and now Obama.